BLAKEDOWN teenager Esther Gittoes embarked on an adventure of a lifetime helping the less fortunate in the remote region of Jinja in Uganda.

The 19-year-old former student of Haybridge High school was working for the charity East African Playgrounds (EAP) which promotes play for children in schools across the country.

She was part of a team of volunteers who created playgrounds for schools lacking play resources.

Esther lived and worked for four weeks at Busoona Primary School helping to build a playground and holding arts and play programmes for 1,300 children.

Construction work was tough and involved digging, cementing by hand and brick laying.

Esther said: “We often found that the students in the arts programme would copy and imitate their peers’ drawings. But with time they started using their own initiative and produced beautiful works of art”.

She added: “The best part of the trip was probably the playground opening ceremony, unveiling our creation to the children and their parents.

“The children lined up to go into the complex and their faces and excitement was indescribable”.

Esther who is studying journalism and international development at Northampton University said she hoped to return to EAP next year as a group leader. “However I won’t miss sleeping on the floor, showering in a bucket and going to the toilet down a long drop,” she added. For more information on volunteering for EAP log on to